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Black-And-Rufous Elephant Shrew Born at National Zoo
Image by Smithsonian's National Zoo
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo now has a new baby giant elephant-shrew—also known as a sengi. Keepers at the Small Mammal House did not know it had been born until they saw three elephant-shrews in the exhibit instead of two. The birth was planned as part of a captive breeding program, but baby elephant-shrews typically remain buried deep in their nest for the first several weeks of life. The baby, now about five weeks old, is busily exploring the exhibit with its parents.
Elephant-shrews are neither elephant nor shrew, but belong to their own group of ancient mammals. They are distantly related to aardvarks, sea cows, like manatees and dugongs, hyraxes and elephants. Native to eastern Kenya and Tanzania, the black and rufous giant elephant-shrew is listed as “vulnerable” to extinction.
For more info, log on to: nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/SmallMammals/fact-elephantshrew.cfm
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Image by andreakw